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England Women

24 Jun 2021

England and Wales Women all set for historic clash

England and Wales Women all set for historic clash

England Women are set to play for the first time since late 2019 as they clash with Wales Women on Friday, 6pm kick off at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Arena.

After a year without competition in 2020, England's stars have flown out of the blocks in the 2021 Betfred Women's Super League season, while St Helens - Betfred Challenge Cup winners - can boast eight England stars in the squad for this week's tie.

Head Coach Craig Richards has named five uncapped players in his squad for the game, including Saints stars Beth Stott and Paige Travis.

Leeds Rhinos wing and 2019 Women’s Super League Grand Final hero Fran Goldthorp is named in the squad for the first time following an impressive start to the 2021 season.

Elsewhere, Wigan Warriors’ Vicky Molyneux has also been selected and could earn her first England cap since a 2007 victory over France.

Castleford Tigers pair Emma Lumley and Hollie Dodd, who made history as the youngest player ever to play in a Challenge Cup final as she played in the 2019 showpiece just a day after her 16th birthday, have also been named.

Army Sergeant Carrie Roberts could make her first international appearance since 2015 when she crossed for three tries in a two-game series against France.

St Helens forward Emily Rudge is confirmed as captain.

Molyneux returns to the international set-up at the age of 33 having last played for the national side as a teenager.

She returned to the sport with Wigan three years ago after taking time away to start a family and focus on her career as a teacher.

She told BBC Sport: "Before the pandemic I captained the Great Britain Teachers side and we sang the national anthem on two occasions and on both I was very overwhelmed.

"I had a tear rolling down my face. I've got family supporting me there on Friday and I'm getting emotional just talking about it.

"I really don't think I'm going to be able to hold back the tears. I will try my best because I really don't want to cry but if I'm not crying on the outside I will definitely be crying on the inside."

"Whatever the standard is, we'll better that," Jodie Cunningham told Sky Sports as the build up to Friday's huge match continues.

In opposition, Wales are led by former England Assistant Coach Thomas Brindle and, on naming his 19-player squad, he said: "This team is just at the start of our journey. We’ve come along so well in the last three months.

"The effort from all the players has been outstanding, as we are looking forward to being part of this historic test match and see the progress we’ve made so far. The game will be a important milestone for women’s Rugby League in Wales, as it will inspire the next generation."

Ten players could make their debts for the nation, a list which includes Wigan star Carys Marsh and a number of cross-code players such as Ffion Lewis, who turned to Rugby League after earning 14 caps in rugby union, and will be the 100th player to play both league and union for Wales if she appears on Friday night.

England Women squad: Emily Rudge (St Helens, captain), Caitlin Beevers (Leeds Rhinos), Chantelle Crowl, Jodie Cunningham (both St Helens), Hollie Dodd (Castleford Tigers), Grace Field, Kelsey Gentles (both York City Knights), Fran Goldthorp (Leeds Rhinos), Amy Hardcastle (St Helens), Shona Hoyle (Castleford Tigers), Tara Jones (St Helens), Emma Lumley (Castleford Tigers), Vicky Molyneux (Wigan Warriors), Carrie Roberts (St Helens), Georgia Roche (Castleford Tigers), Beth Stott (St Helens), Tara Stanley (Castleford Tigers), Paige Travis (St Helens), Georgia Wilson (Wigan Warriors)

Wales Women squad: Ffion Jones, Sara Jones, Eleri Michael (all Bridgend Blue Bulls / Cardiff Demons), Jess McAuley (British Army), Lauren Aitken, Leanne Burnell, Danyelle Dinapoli, Seren Gough-Walters, Charlie Mundy, Amberley Ruck, Rafiuke Taylor (all Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons), Emily Hughes, Kathryn Salter (both London Broncos), Shaunni Davies, Ffion Lewis, Lowri Norkett, Sara Prosser (all Rhondda Outlaws / Cardiff Demons), Keira McCosh (Warrington Wolves), Carys Marsh (Wigan Warriors).

Fixture Details:

  • England Women vs Wales Women
  • Friday, June 25
  • 6pm kick off
  • Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington
  • Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Arena from 5.30pm